Singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette, a number of years ago, had a song that spoke of irony. “Isn’t it ironic”, she sang, “a little too ironic. It’s like rain on your wedding day, a free ride when you’ve already paid; it’s the good advice that you just didn’t take.” She goes on and on about irony. But the truth of her lyrics is this… those examples are not irony. They are examples of bad luck or time’s when a person makes a choice without considering all the options. It is just bad luck to have rain on your wedding day when the date was set a year ago. It is a bad decision to have been given good advice but not take it. It is not irony!
Merriam Webster dictionary defines irony as “a situation that is strange or funny because things happen in ways that seem to be the opposite of what was expected.” Let me give you a couple of examples of irony. “It was a tragic irony that the man made himself sick by constantly worrying about his health.” Or, “After an ironic pause, the teenager’s family laughed when she looked inside the refrigerator full of food and exclaimed there’s nothing to eat!” That is irony!
So what is ironic about your life? I know that for me, it is amazingly ironic to think of the reckless behavior of my teenage years in comparison to the desire I have for fitness, temperance and self-control today. When I was young all I wanted to do was grow up and be independent, and (ironically) all the while my behavior was everything but mature and often led to dependence. Look closely, you too will probably find that your life is full of irony.
The point is what, or who, are you living for? The experiences of your past and the recognition of them in the present have value. Yet so many people go through life without details catching their attention, we pass so many on the street with dull eyes that are unable to see the beauty of life, and the fragility of it.
Remember that it once might have been you. And when it was, we needed someone to intervene on our behalf, to snap us out of it. To let us know we were not alone. Spiritual resilience is our ability to be that person to others. Statistics show that we most likely passed others today who are in the middle of cancer, or spiritual battles, or unhappiness of all sorts and reasons. They need someone to journey with and we need them too. They need you to stop and look at them as a real person and to listen to what they have to say, who better than you that has been through some of the same things. That’s a little too ironic!